Finding Treasure Around the Corner in the Bastille
Have you ever wanted a specific, stylish item? And you searched until you found it? My search was for finding the hanging lamp treasure that would fit in with my 1890s library ceiling. No flea market was needed. The treasure was literally, around the corner from my apartment in the Bastille. I looked through the window of a vintage lamp store. After 27 years, I finally pushed open the door of Arts et Lumières, looked around, looked up and fell in love. Once I made the decision about buying the lamp, I took my time. Uuntil one day, the signs Tout doit Disparaitre (Everything Must Go) and Déstockage Massif (Clearance…
Life in Paris: Tassin Leather Continues an Upholstery Tradition
Paris neighbourhoods have gone through gentrification significantly in the 2000s. Along Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine n the Bastille is no exception. The furniture manufactures and sales offices have given way to clothing and sports stores. There is hope, however, because La Maison Tassin Cuir (leather) continues an upholstery tradition. Their story includes drama. In 2015, a fire destroyed the company’s artisan workshops. Livelihood, unfinished orders from distant lands and their leather went up in flames. Like a phoenix, however, the Tassin company mobilised and moved into adjoining buildings. The former display room became the workshop. The business offices moved to another neighbourhood. Soon, by relative time standards, the salvaged tools…
Father Christmas at the Bastille in Paris
One day walking through the Bastille plaza, I saw the Christmas trees being set up around the green July column. By the next evening, purple was once again the sparkling color lighting up the Bastille July column. For the Christmas holiday, Pere Noël was riding the merry-go-round and another day he was dancing with a marching band. Every day is different in the Bastille!
Paris Design Week is Too Short!
While taking a shortcut through Place des Vosges, my eyes saw photographs. They really saw pictures of garbage. Place des Vosges is on annual exhibition circuit for Paris Design Week. Paris Design Week is too short! Over 350 exhibitors and I only saw three in two days! "Pictures of Garbage", new types of flooring in a bench display, and artsy designs in the Orangerie. You can't just pass on by, you have to stay and study and enjoy!
One Day When It Snowed in Paris
One day last week the blackbirds (merles in French) were chirping away in a choral cacophony of song at at 5:30 am. I wondered if springtime was around the corner -- in mid-January! That springtime moment was short-lived. Thirty-two departments, including Paris and Ile-de-France, were placed under snow warnings. Saturday was going to be a snow day in Paris. Météo-France and our Echo-dot, Alexa, confirmed that the snow would begin by 11 am Saturday.
Noël Christmas Voyage in Paris
Paris Sparkles during the Holidays. Take a Paris Voyage with Colleen's Paris on small street of the Bastille, the department store decorations and rooftops, watch the lights come up on the Champs-Elysées and see Avenue Montaigne lit up, a carrousel in the Tuileries Garden and be mystified at the blue velvet column of the Bastille.
Artisanal Shop Brings New Flavours to the Bastille
On my way to the oriental pastry shop Diamande along the Rue Sedaine in the Bastille, I noticed a new just-opened épicerie. I was tempted to stop for a glass of wine on its terrace (i.e., the sidewalk). When I walked into the shop, the man behind the counter looked familiar even behind his mask: the eyes, the Tintin-spiked haircut. “You resemble someone”, I said. “Who”? he asked. I proceeded to say the television personality who visits French producers and chefs riding up on his red and white checkered tricycle. Bingo! Voilà! Loïc Ballet and his childhood friend, Elodie Charras have opened an artisanal shop selling products (condiments, wine, cheese, charcuterie, oils,…
Paris Markets Wrapped in Plastic
Life at the Parisian market has taken on a new form. The market is wrapped in plastic wrap. I could only look on. The scene was very surrealistic. On May 13 the markets reopened with new sanitary guidelines. The last time I visited the Bastille Market at Boulevard Richard Lenoir was March 22. Plastic crates separated the shoppers to provide distance. On March 23, the Mayor's office closed all outdoor and indoor markets. The ban did not include the grocery stores. Who needs a straw shopping basket ("panier") to carry around anymore? Market shopping is now available online for home delivery. The delivery order goes through Mayor's Office website, takes…
Saying Goodbye to Icons in the Bastille Neighborhood
Living in a small neighborhood of the Bastille, the hardest phrases to hear over the last year have been: "We're closing and retiring" and "They have sold the shop for their retirement": Holmes, the stationery store, and now à la Petite Fabrique, the chocolate factory. Holmes was transformed into an upscale Italian restaurant and word is that Alain Ducasse is buying the Petite Fabrique.... The neighborhood in the area of Hugo's Les Miserables and the French Revolution has gone upscale.